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1955 Junior MGP

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 226.38 miles (6 laps)

Description: 1955 Junior Manx Grand Prix
Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 9 September 1955 (p.4) below which is a full list of competitors:




Local Men Second and Third

TWENTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD GEOFF TANNER, riding a Norton, rode brilliantly on Tuesday to win the Junior Manx Grand Prix at record speed, and smashed the lap record on the second and third laps, by which time he had left his rivals so far behind that it became a one-horse race.

Manx riders were well to the fore throughout.

G. B. Tanner took his Norton into the lead on a hectic first lap in which he got within seven seconds of the record of Alistair King whose A.J.S. on Tuesday was in second place at the end of the first lap, 22 seconds behind the leader. The came three more A.J.S.’s, ridden by Gavin Dunlop, Jim Davie and R. E. Jerrard, with J. Buchan’s Norton in sixth place 46 seconds slower than the leader. This surely meant a record in the second lap.

Leading Manxman in the early stages was Jackie Wood, who was seventh, and seven seconds slower than the sixth man.


Things also happened in the third lap. Tanner celebrated a pit stop with another lap record, three seconds faster than his previous one.

Jim Davie (A.J.S.) died in hospital after a crash at the Gooseneck, and Gavin Dunlop, the New Zealander, took over the position of runner-up from King, who was two seconds behind him. But Tanner had a lead of 2 mins. 23 secs. – a winning margin if ever there was one.


Buchan led Dunlop by a second at the end of the fourth lap and was now runner-up, nearly two and a half minutes behind Tanner. King was one second behind Dunlop. The real race was for second place! The result was a surprise. Alan Holmes was runner-up, and Jackie Wood third after a crash had put Dunlop out.

The Start, Tuesday
Conditions all round the course were reported to be perfect as the 103 starters assembled on the grid. From Ronaldsway came the report that it would be “a really excellent day.” Roads were dry, with visibility complete.
Scotland’s chances received an early setback when Ewen Haldane failed to get his A.J.S. started for several minutes. Two fancied Scots, Alastair King and Jimmy Buchan made flashing get-aways.
As the last man pushed off, No. 3, K. Ratcliffe (Norton) was already climbing the Mountain from Ramsey.
Castletown’s Alan Holmes lost a valve spring during the warming-up period and was allowed to start at the end of the field, a useful position for “keeping tabs” on his rivals.
Leading on the road at the end of lap 1 was No. 7, R. Jervis, from No. 11, E. F. H. Boyce. Jackie Wood was eighth man past the stand after covering his opening lap in 26 mins. 48 secs.
But it was Norton rider, Geoff Tanner (No. 104), who set tongues wagging. His standing start circuit was just seven seconds outside the lap record. He lapped in 25 mins. 55 secs., 87.37 m.p.h., and led his nearest rival, No. 65, Alastair King, A.J.S., by nearly half a minute.
New Zealander Gavin Dunlop, A.J.S., held third place, three seconds down on King.
Already reports of trouble had begun to come in. Ballaugh reported that F. A. Rutherford (A.J.S.) was out of the running with engine trouble.

Second Lap
It was announced at ten minutes to twelve that A. W. Edgson on a B.S.A. had retired on his second lap at Cruickshank’s Corner where he had taken a spill. The announcer said he had been taken to Ramsey Cottage Hospital “purely for observation.”
Tanner led the field by 24 secs., and only 24 seconds separated the rest of the leading six. The London Council gardener had a pack of four A.J.S.’s at his heels with the nearest Norton support, Jimmy Buchan in sixth place.
With riders lying in second, fourth and sixth positions, Scotland was in a strong position.
But Tanner left pursuers far behind on lap 2. He slashed Alastair King’s record, set last year by 27 seconds with a lap in 25 mins. 21 secs. – a speed of 89.34 m.p.h. His Norton obviously had the legs of its rivals, and the London rider’s lead increased to 65 seconds.
King stopped at the end of his second lap to take on fuel, as did third man, Dunlop.
Manx rider Alan Holmes had driven his Norton into seventh position with a growing time of 53 mins. 31 secs.

One of Scotland’s main hopes, Jim Davie, the Kelty, Fife, rider, crashed at the Gooseneck on his second lap. He was taken to Ramsey Cottage Hospital, but died in the ambulance before he reached there.
He collided with Lawrence Ivin’s mount just below the Gooseneck corner. Davie, aged 30, a public works plant fitter, had considerable experience on the T.T. course. In 1954 he finished third in the Junior Clubman’s race and was 12th in the Junior Manx Grand Prix last year. He was a married man.
Ivin was the first to crash. His machine struck the bank, ricocheted into the road, giving Davie no chance to avoid a collision.
At 52, Ivin was making a comeback to racing. He last rode in the M.G.P. in 1934. On Tuesday he escaped with a grazed nose,

Third Lap
Davie’s place on the leader board was taken by fellow countryman, Jimmy Buchan (Norton), who moved up two places to fourth position. Jerrard maintained his fifth place.
B. J. Thompson (A.J.S.) stopped suddenly at Glen Vine. Reason? No petrol and no oil.
Despite pulling in for fuel at the end of Lap 3, Tanner clipped a further three seconds off his earlier lap record, increasing his race average to 88.71 m.p.h. and his advantage over his nearest rival to 2 mins. 23 secs. He seemed all set for a runaway win at an average speed handsomely exceeding last year’s record.
New Zealand rider, Gavin Dunlop, took over second place from King, and headed him by two seconds at the end of lap three.
On to the leader board in fifth place came Alan Holmes (Norton) with a lap in 25 mins. 53 secs., 87.48 m.p.h. Only Tanner had lapped faster to-day, and the Castletown rider was bidding for a place amongst the first three.
R. E. Jerrard, who had been lying sixth, was relegated to seventh place, and Eddie Crooks (Norton), a Manx rider, occupied ninth position.

Fourth Lap
While no one could now challenge the flying gardener for the first place, the fight for second, third and fourth positions was intensifying.
Only two seconds divided the next three men, and it was the 20-year-old Perth reporter, Jimmy Buchan, who now lay second. Third place man was Dunlop, with King relegated to fourth place. Alan Holmes was 56 seconds down on King, and Jackie Wood maintained his sixth position.
New Zealander Bob Cook was forced out of the race at Glen Helen with engine trouble. The retirements now approached the dozen mark. P. Carr spilled at Ramsey Hairpin, remounted and rode on minus his left footrest, his left leg tailing. He was later flagged off the course.
The leader’s average for four laps dropped slightly to 88.25 m.p.h., but he now headed his nearest challenger, Buchan, by 2 mins. 26 secs.
D. Herrod (A.J.S.) tried to take Sulby Bridge too fast and smashed into the sandbags, breaking the front forks of his A.J.S. He was unhurt.
Jerrard still hung on to seventh place, and Eddie Crooks had crept up to 8th position with a growing time of 1 hr. 47 mins. 23 secs.

Fifth Lap
Although Alastair King gave the thumbs down signal to his pit at the end of lap 4, he forced his way back to second place at the end of lap 5. Buchan lay third, with a trio of Manxmen in the following three positions.
The popular New Zealand rider, Gavin Dunlop, was involved in a three-machine crash at the Quarry bends. R. E. Jerrard and No. 110, G. Lund (B.S.A.) were the others involved.
Both Lund and Jerrard were reported to be unhurt, but Dunlop was removed to hospital for a check-up. It was reported that he was not seriously injured.
Alan Holmes was just six seconds behind Buchan, after lapping over two seconds faster in 25 mins. 46 secs., a speed of 87.89 m.p.h.
A really determined last lap effort by the Castletown rider could give him third place.
Jackie Wood moved up into fifth position and Eddie Crooks came on to the leader board as sixth man. Local men were doing well!

Last Lap
Point to point reports of Tanner’s last lap progress came from marshals stationed all round the course.
From the Hawthorn Inn came the flash that Tanner’s engine had cut out 100 yards on the Peel side of Greeba Bridge, and had then cut in again.
Tanner was riding as fast and as stylishingly as ever, and did not appear to be slowed by the temporary failure.
With the leading men away on their sixth lap, it was announced that Manx rider Dennis Christian (A.J.S.) had retired at the Highlander with engine trouble. The rider was O.K. He had completed five laps in 2 hrs. 16 mins. 54 secs.
Tanner was rapidly overhauling Buchan, who started 28 places ahead, and the commentator at Kepple Gate reported that the London rider was right on Buchan’s tail. They finished the race together. Tanner completing his record-smashing ride in 2 hrs. 33 mins. 33.8 secs., 88.46 m.p.h.
Last lap sensations were provided by Manx riders Alan Holmes and Jackie Wood, both of whom forced their machines ahead of the fancied Scottish rider, Jimmy Buchan. Alastair King was once again dogged by bad luck. A broken chain dashed his hopes at the foot of Bray Hill on his final lap.
Holmes completed his final lap in 25 mins. 34 secs., a speed of 88.59 m.p.h., easily beating the old lap record. Woods’ final lap was completed in 25 mins. 55 secs., 87.37 m.p.h., against the 26 mins. 28 secs. (85.57 m.p.h.) last lap of Jimmy Buchan.

Manx rider Robert Dowty (Norton) finished the distance in 2 hrs. 42 mins. 20.2 secs. (he had been delayed at the start by having to change a plug, but nevertheless finished 10th man), and Andrew Herdman (B.S.A.) drew applause from the people on the stand when he pushed his machine over the finishing line. He had previously been reported as pushing in from Hillberry. Herdman had completed five laps in 2 hrs. 18 mins. 41 secs., and although he completed the distance “on foot,” was not able to do so in time to win a replica.


1Tanner, Geoff2:33:33.0088.46Norton
2Holmes, Alan2:37:31.0086.24Norton
3Wood, Jack2:38:15.0085.84Norton
4Buchan, Jimmy2:38:19.0085.8Norton
5Crooks, Eddie2:40:20.0084.72Norton
6Boyce, Ellis2:41:18.0084.22Norton
7Williams, Victor2:41:23.0084.17Norton
8Dow, Eddie2:41:25.0084.16Norton
9Trow, Alan2:41:32.0084.09Norton
10Dowty, Robert2:42:20.0083.67Norton
11Jervis, R.2:42:45.0083.46Norton
12Greenwood, Owen2:42:46.0083.45Norton
13Graham, Tom2:43:25.0083.12Norton
14Voice, Harry2:43:39.0083.01Norton
15Oldfield, Russell2:44:00.0082.83Norton
16Turner, B.L.2:45:11.0082.24Norton
17Washer, Ernie2:45:33.0082.05Norton
18Jealous, G.R.2:45:53.0081.89Norton
19Haldane, Ewen2:46:05.0081.79Norton
20Newstead, Alan2:46:56.0081.37AJS
21Patrick, Ken2:47:26.0081.13Norton
22Carman, Richard2:48:15.0080.74AJS
23Minion, F.2:48:38.0080.55Norton
24Murphy, George C.A.2:48:42.0080.52Norton
25Jackson, J.F.2:48:46.0080.49Norton
26Harding, Richard2:48:48.0080.47Norton
27Price, Norman2:48:55.0080.42Norton
28Begg, George2:50:26.0079.7Norton
29Arnold, M.D.2:50:32.0079.66Norton
30Andrews, David2:51:20.0079.28Norton
31Kershaw, B.2:52:00.0078.98Norton
32Freestone, Brian2:53:12.0078.43Norton
33Morris, A.R.2:54:48.0077.71Norton
34Jervis, Derrick2:54:49.0077.7Norton
35Brindley, Joe2:55:00.0077.62Norton
36Tonge, H.M.2:55:39.0077.34Norton
37Rhodes, Ivan2:56:05.0077.15Norton
38Ratcliffe, Ken2:56:31.0076.95Norton
39Burgess, F.2:56:33.0076.94Norton
40Morris, T.2:56:55.0076.78Norton
41Standivan, R.J.2:56:55.0076.78Norton
42Cruse, Peter2:57:39.0076.46Norton
43Dakin, D.L.2:57:51.0076.38Norton
44Sheene, Frank2:58:05.0076.28Norton
45Boughey, Roy2:58:18.0076.19Norton
46Davies, Eugene2:58:25.0076.14Norton
47Frost, Arthur2:58:32.0076.09Norton
48Howe, David2:58:49.0075.97Norton
49Rutherford, Len2:59:42.0075.59Norton
50Castle, R.2:59:53.0075.52Norton
51Trustham, Jack3:00:57.0075.07Norton
52Cortvriend, Barry3:01:05.0075.02Norton
53Peacock, T.G.J.3:01:30.0074.84Norton
54Herdman, Drew3:01:33.0074.82BSA
55Walsh, Pat3:01:44.0074.75Norton
56Gaunt, A.J.3:01:58.0074.65Norton
57Southam, Les3:02:53.0074.28Norton
58Pennington, Grenville3:03:41.0073.95Norton
59Phillipson, T.H.3:04:01.0073.82Norton
60Jarman, Den3:04:18.0073.71Norton
61Sutherland, A.R.3:05:13.0073.34Norton
62Hogg, D.A.3:06:57.0072.66Norton
63Briggs, Harry3:07:52.0072.31Norton
64Peacock, E.3:10:39.0071.25Norton
65Swetman, R.J.3:11:40.0070.87Norton
66Broadey, A.3:12:45.0070.48Norton
67Banks, John3:14:59.0069.67Velocette
68Fitzsimmons, W.N.3:17:08.0068.91Norton
69Evans, Lawrence Edward3:17:55.0068.64Norton
70Wassell, Maurice3:18:12.0068.54Norton
71Young, Lewis3:19:01.0068.26Norton
72Downes, Graham3:21:12.0067.52Norton
73Adams, Michael3:30:03.0064.67Norton
RAlexander, Peter0Norton
RAnderson, William R.0Norton
RCarr, Peter0Norton
RChrich, T.M.0Norton
RChristian, Dennis0Norton
RClarke, Ian0Norton
RCraven, Alan0Norton
RDrysdale, Jimmy0Norton
REdgson, Eddie0Norton
RHerrod, D.0Norton
RJerrard, Ron0Norton
RLattimer, G.0Norton
RLongman, George0Norton
RMacKay, G.T.0Norton
RMcGuinness, B.0Norton
RPerry, D.L.E.0Norton
RRutherford, Frank0Norton
RScholefield, A.S.0Norton
RStuart, Ian0Norton
RThurston, John0Norton
RWhillier, P.E.0Norton
RCook, RobertNorton
RLund, BernieVelocette
RThompson, B.Norton
RNicholls, K.Norton
RDunlop, GavinNorton
RKing, AlastairNorton
RLund, GeoffreyBSA
R=Ivin, LaurieBSA
RDavie, JamesAJS


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